Researcher from MIT have demonstrated the ability to see through physical barriers including walls and doors, by using Wi-Fi signals to track the relative locations and the number of subjects behind such obstacles.
This technology has been dubbed "Wi-Vi", and this system relies on a transmitter and a pair of receivers. The transmitters use Wi-Fi signals to blanket an area, and subjects that move within the target area will absorb and reflect the Wi-Fi signals in different ways. Based on the signals received by the pair of antennae, the Wi-Vi system is able to determine the subjects that are causing the distortions in the blanket of Wi-Fi signals.
At the same time, the Wi-Vi system relies purely on the physical nature of the Wi-Fi radio waves; hence, the Wi-Vi operators don't need to have access to the Wi-Fi network services. Also, the Wi-Vi system isn't capable of capturing any visual information like a photograph. The data obtained from the signal disruption is sufficient for the operators to determine the number of subjects moving behind physical barriers. One useful application of the Wi-Vi system is in search and rescue operations. Last year, we first reported on another group of MIT researchers who had developed a different system to view moving objects behind physical barriers. However, the earlier technology is different from Wi-Vi as the latest technology comes across as less complicated, without the need for an array of receiving antennae, like the former. For more information on this technology, please head over to the researchers' site here.